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Music / Billie Eilish

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you should see me in a crown.

I’m the bad guy ...
“bad guy”


Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell (born December 18, 2001) is an American singer and songwriter born in Los Angeles, California. Her mother, Maggie Baird, is an actress.

Eilish's music, often described as “noir pop” for its world-weary tone and dark lyrical themes, is a unique brand of blues-y minimalist Indie Pop featuring breathy vocals and extreme attention to subtle sounds and details. Her music is a collaboration with her multi-instrumentalist brother Finneas O’Connell, who handles most of the production side. She is also the Trope Codifier for Bedroom Pop.

Eilish's first viral single, “ocean eyes,” was released in 2016,—when she was fifteen years old—followed the next year by the EP dont smile at me. Her debut album, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?, became the most pre-ordered album in Apple Music history before its official release in March 2019. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, making her the first artist born in the 21st century to reach that slot. At the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards in 2020, Eilish became the second person, after Christopher Cross in 1981, to win Record, Album, and Song of the Year along with Best New Artist in the same year.


In January 2020, she was announced as the performer and songwriter of the main theme of No Time to Die, the 25th James Bond film. She's the youngest singer and songwriter in the history of the franchise. In 2021, she was the subject of the documentary Billie Eilish: The World's A Little Blurry, released theatrically by Neon and on streaming by Apple TV+.



Bury a Trope:

    Eilish and her style 
  • all lowercase letters: tends to do this with her songs.
  • Blues: Her music could be considered the genre’s evolution into contemporary pop. Influence is most apparent in tracks like “xanny” and “my boy”.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: A big part of her stage persona. One of her most iconic music lines is "I'm the bad guy... Duh!"
  • Child Prodigy: Just try to count how many “youngest” records she’s broken.
  • The Chanteuse: The singing style, the melancholy style... if she adopted a dress, she'd be a perfect example.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Her music is known for its world-weary tone and dark lyrical themes, yet she is very cordial and good-hearted in real life.
  • Emo: Though softer and poppier, her music and aesthetic both have clear influences from the genre. Her songs are also often about self-loathing.
  • Erudite Stoner: Part of her persona with her baggy clothes, sleepy eyes, and somber yet delicate lyrics and vocals.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: Sound effects used in her songs include everything from matches striking to traffic to Invisalign removal.
  • Evil Diva: Plays up this image, with many songs being about murder or conquest. Her biggest hit, "Bad Guy", is about how Obviously Evil she is.
    I’m the bad guy... Duh!
  • Gasshole: Isn't ashamed to flaunt this, as she constantly belches and farts a lot on stage and isn’t opposed to doing so in front of people either. She also genuinely admits that pooping is her favorite part of the day.
  • Girliness Upgrade: In stark contrast to her previous image, the lead-up to her second album in 2021 has seen the debut of a radically different appearance for Billie, culminating in the cover for the June 2021 issue of British Vogue.
  • Hidden Buxom: She has very large breasts, but usually covers them up with hoodies and baggy clothes, as she wanted fans and critics to focus on her music rather than her body. (That, and she was underage when she first got famous.) She was quite disturbed when paparazzi photos of her in a tank top elicited a very horny reaction. That said, she started leaving this image behind on her second album, particularly when she did a photoshoot for Vogue wearing corsets and lingerie.
  • Indie Pop: Her style of music can be charitably described as this, but it's much darker, minimal, yet eclectic than the title might let on. Some critics describe it as "pop noir".
  • Lighter and Softer: "My Future" is the start of a self-declared optimistic turn, as she no longer wants to create so many dark songs following the Trauma Conga Line of 2020.
  • Lyrical Tic: If a line ends on a T sound, Billie will often wait a second to pronounce it, adding a percussive -teh to the rhythm.
  • Male Band, Female Singer: Her songs are effectively collaborations with her brother, Finneas O'Connell, mainly with Finneas on production and Billie as singer/songwriter.
  • Perky Goth: Is surprisingly cheery and sociable in real-life.
  • Pun: Her lyrics tend to incorporate a lot of wordplay.
    You committed; I’m your crime.
  • Running Gag: Billie’s hatred of Invisalign.
    I have taken out my Invisalign, and this is the album!
  • Second Banana: Finneas stays contentedly behind the scenes for the most part, letting Billie be the Face of the Band. Subverted more recently, though, as Finneas has released an EP with a charting single and is starting to become recognized by a wider audience as a talented artist in his own right.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Most tracks feature multiple layers of Billie, only occasionally supplemented by her brother.
  • Signature Style: Saturated colors, baggy clothes, and lots of heavy jewelry? Must be Billie Eilish.
  • Simple Score of Sadness: Many of her melancholy songs rely on this.
  • Singer-Songwriter: She writes all of her own lyrics, except for a few tracks Finneas contributes to.
  • Synth-Pop: Most of the music in her studio recordings is synthetic, or acoustic guitar.
  • Teen Idol: Following "Bad Guy", her popularity has exploded among teenagers, causing her to become this.
  • The Teetotaler: Billie, according to “xanny”. She's 19, after all.
    Still just drinking canned coke...
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: At the 2020 Grammys she was the tomboy to known girly girl Ariana Grande [1].
  • Tomboyness Upgrade: Although Eilish always wore baggy clothes earlier in her career, they were softer and pastel and eventually turned more androgynous. In her Calvin Klein ad and Vogue interview she explains that she wears baggy clothes because of insecurity and to create anonymity towards what her body looks like. Her public persona is also quite masculine.

    Appearing in her songs 
  • Abduction Is Love: Played with in "hostage":
    I'll build a wall, give you a ball and chain...
    Just let me hold you.
    Like a hostage
  • And I Must Scream: Heavily implied in her tearjerker song "everything I wanted" which was inspired by a nightmare.
    I tried to scream but my head was underwater.
  • Animated Music Video: To her 2020 single, "my future," directed by Andrew Onorato.
  • Bait-and-Switch: From the bridge of "COPYCAT":
    Sorry, sorry, I'm sorry, sorry...
  • Changed for the Video: The video version of "watch" includes a long pause before the first chorus as Billie's backup dancers rush to tie her up on her ladder.
  • Cover Version:
    • She performed an acoustic rendition of "You Don't Get Me High Anymore" by Phantogram on BBC Radio 1.
    • A cover of Michael Jackson's "Bad", produced by Like a Version.
  • Double Consciousness: Implied in "idontwannabeyouanymore" and its music video, which shows Billie confronting her reflection like another person.
  • Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter: Referenced in the lyrics of "bellyache":
    Where's my mind?
    Maybe it's in the gutter
    Where I left my lover
  • Green Aesop: "all the good girls go to hell" is about climate change.
  • Love Is Like Religion: From the unreleased track, "6.18.18":
    You made me wanna pray
    But I think God's fake.
  • Motifs: Ladders in the dont smile at me era. The EP's cover shows Billie sitting beneath a large red stepladder, and art for the individual songs shows her in various other positions on the contraption. Ladders are also featured centrally in the music videos for "watch" and "bored".
  • Murder Ballad: "bellyache", from the perspective of the killer.
  • Revenge Ballad: Implied in "watch", about unrequited love:
    I'll sit and watch your car burn
    With the fire that you started in me.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "bellyache".
    Where's my mind?
    Where's my mind?
  • Scatting: Billie does a bit in the beginning of "my boy".
  • Shout-Out: "bellyache" has the line, "My V is for Vendetta."
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: "8" sounds cheery but lyrically, it's about someone Billie hurt.
  • Textless Album Cover: Both her album and her EP.
  • Villainous Lament: "bellyache", where the singer is implied to have murdered her compatriots in a heist to keep the money for herself. According to Billie, the song is about "a psychopath who regrets being a psychopath but doesn't really care."
    Thought that I'd feel better
    But now I got a bellyache
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: "ocean eyes".
    I've been watching you for some time
    Can't stop staring at those oceans eyes
    Burning cities and napalm skies
    Fifteen flares inside those ocean eyes.


Video Example(s):


Advice from Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish gives a very good advice on how to cope with depression while playing with puppies in a Buzzfeed Celeb video.

How well does it match the trope?

4.71 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre

Media sources:

Main / YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre